PLEASE READ! Outside of their family, one of the very first relationships your child develops will probably be with a beloved stuffed animal. These soft, adorable friends are much more than a toy. To a child, a stuffed animal is a companion they can interact with and relate to. Stuffed toys let children act out scenarios and explore emotions they don’t fully grasp yet, practice newly learned skills and build their sense of independence. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS ASSOCIATED WITH PLUSH TOYS? Providing Comfort The world can be a scary place, but no matter how far afield kids travel, or strange new worlds they encounter, a treasured stuffed toy represents security and familiarity they can carry with them. When faced with new situations, a furry friend may help a child to cope, and feel less vulnerable. Building Confidence Small children don’t have much control much over their world,which is why a stuffed toy can provide an outlet for their own need for independence. Acting as a parent to their toys put kids in charge for a change, giving their confidence a boost. Managing Emotions Small children often role-play with stuffed toys and dolls. When children are experiencing emotions they don’t fully understand, acting out with their toys can be a safe, positive way to learn to handle their feelings. Practicing Social Skills Relationships with siblings, parents and new friends can also benefit from the role-playing children do with their stuffed toys. Through imagined interactions children learn to empathize and practice behaviors they have seen modeled by those around them. Language Skills When children first learn to talk, they are excited to use their new skills. Conversations with their stuffed animals help them to develop this muscle. Practice makes perfect!